I had no shame spending $46,000 for high quality, options and performance, but if I drove an empty small or full size truck around solo with no towing/bed applications, I would much prefer a nice car instead. I would at least get a 100,000 mile warranty nothing less in 2009 and have something fun to drive. I made the mistake of buying too small initially, and had to have friends do some distant towing for me many times... why have any truck at all then?
To the individual who posted a comment on 27th Mar 2009, 20:21.
You cannot compare the Ford Ranger to the new Tacoma. For one, the Ford Ranger and its exact but slightly more expensive twin, the Mazda B series, are the only ones in the small truck market, since it doesn't come crew cab. The Ranger is $7,000 less; probably since it hasn't had a major update since 2002 (using the same materials, chassis and powertrain).
Secondly, its powertrain is relatively underpowered compared to the Tacoma in the standard 2.3L (Ford) VS. the 2.7 (Toyota) and even the V6, both being 4.0L.
Thirdly, North American have always been the cheaper alternative (except recently thanks to Hyundai and Kia stepping up to the plate) and Japanese manufacturers being more expensive thanks to higher quality.
Fuel economy is relatively the same in both 4.0L, even though the Ford is largely underpowered; that's surprising since the Ford is considered smaller and lighter to the Tacoma. You can't base reliability issues on a magazine or a book, only a true Toyota owner and Ford owner can tell you the difference, and most highly recommend the Tacoma to the Ranger any day, even at the Ranger's lower MSRP.
"The Ranger is $7,000 less;"
A Ranger? $7,000 less than a Tacoma? What Ranger are you talking about?
The 2010 Ford Ranger starts at $17,820. The 2010 Toyota Tacoma starts at $15,345. Not only is that not even close to a $7,000 difference, but it shows that the Tacoma is actually less expensive than the Ranger.
I'll give you this, a USED Ford Ranger is probably $7,000 cheaper than a NEW Tacoma.
I agree that the Ranger's styling is terribly dated, its ride is harsh and its drive-train not overly sophisticated. However in light of Toyota's recent plunge in quality and massive safety issues, I think I'd be more at ease driving the tried-and-true Ranger at this point.
I'm helping my parents shop for a small truck now, and considering a Tacoma. However they are very expensive, even used, and seem to offer little options for the price.
Chevy S-10 / GMC Canyon as well are quite expensive used, considering one of them too.
I'm also considering a Ranger / Mazda truck, they seem to have good reviews as well, and are a lot more reasonably priced as well.
Would like to find a Toyota or GM, but people just want ridiculous prices for small trucks in my area.
My parent's don't need a full size any more, just a small truck to haul stuff that won't fit in the trunk of the car. Mostly just renovation and landscaping materials.
I've crossed out most of the bigger trucks, my parents just want a basic truck, not a SUV type monster.
We are looking for an extended cab with full size bed, smaller truck, with a 4 or 6 cyl engine. No other options needed, but should be comfortable to drive in too.
Go with the Tacoma, and preferably the 4 cylinder model. There's not a whole lot to go wrong on those engines. They have a timing chain versus the V6, which more often than not, has a timing belt that needs changing every so often. Everything is super easy to get at: The belts, water pump, and most everything else is all up front and easily accessible. The transmissions are rock solid, and also very easy to service. It only took me 2 hours to change the clutch on mine.
Let me put it this way: Mine is now over 15 years old, and has about 240,000 miles. Other than some wear on the suspension system and your typical age related wear, the truck has never given me problems. 150,000 miles is nothing for these trucks, so you could always buy something a bit older. The reason these cost more is that they're a better truck all around, and thus command higher prices.
If I were to choose an alternative, I'd probably go with a Nissan Frontier. They're almost neck and neck with Toyota, and often cost a lot less.
Toyota has plants in America, and employs American workers and American dealerships, and can use American parts, and drinks American gas and uses American tires too, so keep in mind, by buying a foreign brand, you are not totally putting American cars out of business; you are also contributing to innovation and new technologies to develop.
Maybe if you think with an open mind, you might progress instead of being a closed market and buying only US made. Chevy's and Fords aren't even made in the US 100 percent from what I hear, and if I want a particular vehicle, then I want that one.
I feel bad for American vehicles, but it's either you do what's good for you, or pay 40k for something that you might be sorry you did. I just don't have that kind of money, and I want to make an economic and value choice, so I'm going with the Toyota. I've driven over a million miles as a delivery boy, driving many different cars, and Toyota is the best.
Sorry about the American car thing; I hope the economy is good. I never wish bad for my country.